Dozens of swing-state opinion polls were released on Wednesday, giving us a snapshot of where the presidential race stands as we head toward the conventions. While Donald Trump can (and will) latch on to some favorable numbers, there wasn’t much in the overall results to indicate a significant shift in the trajectory of the race. Hillary Clinton is still the clear favorite.
The best numbers for Trump came from a batch of Quinnipiac polls which showed him leading Clinton in Florida (+3) and Pennsylvania (+2) and tied with the presumptive Democratic nominee in Ohio.
As my colleague pointed out earlier today, these leads seem a bit questionable when you look at the poll’s sample and see that Quinnipiac’s results are based on the (ridiculous) assumption that the percentage of white voters will increase in 2016, despite all the evidence to the contrary.
Plus, the Q-Pac polls have been favorable to Trump all along, often one of the few polling firms that ever showed the alleged billionaire beating Clinton in hypothetical match-ups.
Setting aside the Quinnipiac polls, the news becomes much better for the former Secretary of State.
Two polls of battleground Colorado – one from Monmouth and the other from FOX News – showed Clinton crushing Trump by 13 and 10, respectively. Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney there by just five points in 2012.
A pair of Iowa polls shows a tighter race, with NBC/Wall Street Journal giving Clinton a three-point edge and a Gravis survey showing her ahead by two. Obama won the Hawkeye State by six in the last cycle.
In a second Ohio poll released Wednesday, Clinton and Trump were deadlocked.
The presumptive Democratic nominee has staked out solid leads against Trump in several other states:
- Wisconsin (Marquette): Clinton +6
- Virginia (FOX News) : Clinton +7
- Pennsylvania (NBC/Wall Street Journal): Clinton +9
While there are some findings from these polls that both sides will tout, there is still nothing that shows a race shifting dramatically in one direction or the other.
At the end of the day, there continues to be one major factor working in Hillary Clinton’s favor (and today’s results underscored this): the Electoral College.
Unlike Trump, Clinton doesn’t have to run the table to win the general election.
Even if we assume that Quinnipiac’s polling is accurate and add Florida and Pennsylvania to Trump’s column, Clinton still has plenty of avenues to winning the required 270 electoral votes.
Trump, on the other hand, has very little margin for error. If he were to lose to the single state of Florida, for example, the election would essentially be over.
There will be many more days like today when we are left sifting through piles of swing-state data, but there is nothing in Wednesday’s numbers to suggest that the race has changed all that much.
Clinton still has the advantage as we head into the GOP convention week.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.